Do you have any feelings to spare? Well… I’ve got aggravation, annoyance, desperation and regret in spades. But they’re all in a steady rotation of constant use, so no extras there. However I’ve a plethora of happiness, joy, contentment and satisfaction just lying around gathering dust in the corner over there. They’re lightly used *like new* so help yourself — I’ve got plenty, won’t miss any and will never get to use them all at all.

Regardless of how you’re feeling you should always carry spare feelings. Because you never know when you might have to have spare feelings to spare, when you spare someone else’s. Wait… what? When you “spare someone’s feelings” aren’t you safeguarding their feelings and emotional well-being by sparing them? Yes, but if you truly spare someone’s feelings then it will have some impact on your own. Because when you’ve spared someone feelings they might’ve felt, those emotions have to go somewhere. No, they may not be the same feelings you have spared the other person from feeling, but in sparing you will be feeling some feelings of your own and may end up with a spare feeling that you don’t particularly enjoy feeling.

Consider this: in most cases when you spare someone’s feelings the feelings you’re sparing them usually aren’t good ones. You are protecting them on an emotional level from something that would have induced the feelings you have spared. In doing so at first you might feel, dare we say, nobly heroic? Well, maybe not, but you’ve done a good thing, so someone else doesn’t feel bad… so you feel good … right? Yeah, until you start to think about how they’ll feel when they find out you’re a DIRTY LIAR!

If you tell someone something other than the truth it’s a lie. If you don’t tell someone something, but know it’s something they need to know or you should have told them, it’s also considered a lie (sort of a gray area there). Whatever your intentions, presumably good, (the road to hell is paved with those) in the end, should the truth come out, you might be branded a liar. Or at least someone they will never fully trust again.

So why risk it? Feelings sparing be damned, why put yourself in that position? Why not just tell them the truth? Won’t the truth set you free? Maybe, but the truth also hurts.

Here’s the truth about the truth and the telling of it ­— people often don’t want it or appreciate being told it. When it comes to truth, people tend to believe only what they truly want to hear. Regardless of what backs that truth and the sincerity in which you tell it, if they don’t like it they’d rather brand you a liar than believe it. If the truth concerns another person (which it often does) they may confront that person. Who, you can be certain will also be telling the truth, or at least their version of a lie, to spare feelings and possibly save their own ass. Depending on which truth is preferred by the recipient will determine your future status with them.

So sparing other’s feelings can be risky and leave you with guilt and worry that they may find out “a truth.” But telling them the truth can be dangerous, possibly saddling you with regret and sorrow. No matter which way you go, trying to do the right thing can be the wrong thing to do. So what do you do? This is where those spare feelings come into play.

Before sparing anyone else’s feelings, check your spare. Regardless of whether you decide to spare someone truth, or give it to them straight, make sure you are emotionally ready for any potential backlash. You can’t spare anyone if you can’t spare yourself. Like a blind man at an orgy, you’ll just have to carefully feel your way around the situation and get through it sparing as many feelings as possible.

I welcome almost all questions and comments via FOCUS, or E-mail me directly at [email protected].

Hope to hear from you, until then try and stay focused. See ya!